Teeth whitening is all the rage! In this modern era, teeth whitening and teeth bleaching is in high demand. Look at any popular women’s magazine cover, and you will notice the number of brilliant white smiles on every page. It sometimes seems like there's no end to the options now available in the marketplace. There are over-the-counter whitening toothpastes, whitening toothbrushes, whitening mouth rinses, whitening gum, whitening strips, whitening trays, dentist-supervised whitening treatment, and in-office treatments.
All that being said, NOT EVERYONE IS A CANDIDATE FOR TEETH WHITENING. The American Dental Association recommends that you be sure to discuss the health of your teeth with your dentist before any attempt at whitening your teeth, especially if you have any of the following dental issues:
- Discolored or sensitive teeth
- White spots or decay on your teeth
- Infected gums and/or any type of periodontal disease
- Fillings and bonding
- A bridge, crown, or other dental work, especially when involving the front teeth
I also recommend that you forego any teeth whitening or teeth bleaching if you are currently in orthodontic treatment or considering orthodontic treatment in the near future. When brackets are placed on the teeth, the area underneath the bracket will remain its natural color, so when the braces are removed there may be unsightly spots on your teeth. Also, once the braces have properly rotated your teeth, there will be surface areas of the teeth now exposed that will be the natural color of your teeth. The absolute best time for teeth whitening for both teens and adults is after orthodontic treatment is complete to ensure that there are no hidden patches and spots due to incomplete bleaching of the full surface of each tooth.
Once you have been cleared by your dentist and/or orthodontist to have your teeth whitened, there is a caution: Over-bleaching your teeth will cause them to become very sensitive. This is an indication that your teeth are telling you that it’s too much, too fast! Some teeth are thinner and more sensitive than others. When this occurs, you will need to back off on your bleaching procedure and be content with the shade level you were able to obtain prior to the sensitivity.
There are certain stains and fillings on your teeth that will never be improved by bleaching. There are other options to treat those teeth such as bonding, veneers, or crowns. Your family dentist will be the one to give you the best options for those limitations.
Also, you should be aware of some of the common habits and health issues that can contribute to the discoloration of teeth over a period of time. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association, these include the following:
- Drinking red wine
- Drinking coffee or tea
- Drinking dark colored sodas
- Eating red sauces
- Eating dark-colored fruits (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
- Tooth injury
- Certain medications
Should you decide to try one of the over-the-counter whitening methods yourself, choose one that has been approved by the American Dental Association, and be sure to follow the package directions. Look for the American Dental Association (ADA) logo:
Teeth whitening and orthodontics, the perfect combination for a beautiful white smile!
Interested in teeth whitening under the supervision of a professional? Contact Turke Orthodontics today for your complimentary evaluation at one of our two convenient locations in Brandon and Tampa, FL.